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4th Employee Pleads in Western State Bank Embezzlement Case

KSCB News - January 6, 2014 9:11 pm

A fourth former bank employee has pleaded guilty to embezzling from a bank in Grant County, Kan., U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said today.

Hattie Wiginton, 33, Ulysses, Kan., pleaded guilty Monday to one count of theft from a bank. In her plea, she admitted she stole from Western State Bank in Ulysses, Kan., while she worked there from 2008 to 2010.

Beginning in 2008, Wiginton aided and abetted co-defendants Ashley Cravens and Amber Gutierrez to steal from the bank. Together they stole an amount up to $84,200 from the bank by making deposits into each other’s bank accounts that were false. The shortage was covered by falsely representing the balance in the vault of the bank.

On July 24, 2010, Wiginton took part in a staged bank robbery with Cravens and Gutierrez. Wiginton pretended to be the victim of the robbery while Cravens acted the part of the bank robber. The purpose of the staged robbery was to cover up the shortage of cash in the bank vault.

Wiginton is set for sentencing March 24. She faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000.

Co-defendants are:

Amber Gutierrez, 32, Ulysses, Kan., who is set for sentencing Feb. 3.

Ashley Cravens, 29, Ulysses, Kan., who is set for sentencing Feb. 7.

Linda Wise, 60, Ulysses, Kan., who is set for sentencing Feb. 24.

Grissom commended the FBI, the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, the Grant County Sheriff’s Office, the Ulysses Police Department and Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron Smith for their work on the case.

 

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